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We just (6:15am, Monday, June 26) got word that Tim's daughter — Miao — gave birth to a baby girl, weighing in at 2.4 kg (5.28 pounds).  Both are doing fine; no word yet on names (in the Buddhist-Thai culture, a nickname is usually assigned by a friend or neighbor at birth and if the baby survives the first thirty days a monk is asked to give a real/official name).

Tim and I were preparing for her to travel up to Bang Pa-In.  Around 10:00 last night, Ant (Miao's common-law husband) called to say Miao was in labor and they were going to the hospital.  Since I need to go on my visa run next Monday, Tim decided that it was best that she go up alone; it would also save money since she would pay the Thai travel rates (yes, two-tiered pricing does still exist in the provinces) and could just sleep at her daughter's home (unsuitable for me, she thinks).  I was planning to participate in another call for extras for the filming of "The Aftermath" (some beach scene reshoots) but decided I'd stay home to help Tim get ready for her trip.

She'll be taking one of the big coach busses which leave Phuket Town in the afternoon.  The trip to Bangkok takes 12-14 hours and costs between 480 and 900 baht depending on which bus you take (second class air-con, first class air-con, VIP with 32 seats, or Special VIP with 24 seats).  In Bangkok, Tim will have to transfer from the Southern Bus Terminal to either Hualamphong Station (for the train) or the Northern Bus Terminal (for another bus).  Both of these options take around an hour to 90 minutes and cost less than 50 baht; unfortunately, the various stations aren't linked with easy-to-use public transportation (it would have made too much sense to have either a SkyTrain or Metro — subway — station near the long-distance terminals) so Tim will have to take a taxi or risk getting lost on the confusing bus routes.  She's a smart lady and shouldn't have any problems but this is the only part of her solo trip that I am really worried about.  (Jum had offered to go with her, but now she has to work today; I wish I could go but making a visa run from the Ahutthaya area is much more difficult and expensive than from Phuket.)

We'll do some grocery shopping for me today so I have plenty of supplies for my week or so on my own.  I told Tim not to worry so much; if I get hungry, I can always walk down to 7-Eleven or flag down a motorbike taxi or tuk-tuk on the main road.  Lek will stop by to drive Tim to the bus station; we're not certain of the bus times but know they usually have the busses leaving for Bangkok in the morning and the afternoon or evening.

In a way, I'm kind of looking forward to several days of alone time.  I can get some reading and computer work done without interruptions.  I can eat what I want when I want.  I can listen to some music and watch some DVD's that I haven't gotten around to yet.  But, of course, I'll miss her greatly and will long for her to return home.

I think it's really funny to call Tim "grandma" and she retorts with calling me "grandpa".  I think I'll buy her a disposible camera today so she can take some photos of our new granddaughter.